The second U.S. Science Envoy, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, departed February 10 on a ten-day trip to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. On this trip, Dr. Zerhouni will seek areas for cooperation on health, science and technology, and education in meetings with heads of state, ministers, and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit, and business communities. Dr. Zerhouni also plans to travel to North Africa in early March. Dr. Zerhouni will report his recommendations to the White House following each trip.
Dr. Zerhouni, M.D., served as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2002 to 2008. Under his leadership, Dr. Zerhouni initiated the NIH’s Roadmap for Medical Research, established a research program to address the obesity epidemic and made health disparities a research priority. Currently, Dr. Zerhouni is a senior advisor to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and has been instrumental in creating the University’s Institute for Cell Engineering. He also sits on the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which opened in Saudi Arabia last September.
The U.S. Science Envoy Program is a core element of the Administration’s commitment to global engagement in science and technology. President Obama first announced the program in Cairo last June, with Secretary Clinton naming the first three envoys -- Dr. Zerhouni, Dr. Ahmed Zerwail and Dr. Bruce Alberts -- in Marrakech last November. Dr. Zewail recently traveled to Egypt and Turkey and Dr. Alberts plans to travel to Indonesia this spring.